Water has critical importance in human life. From drinking and cooking to hygiene and cleaning, we depend on it in every aspect of our life. Simply put, it is one of the greatest gifts of nature to us.
Sadly, however, water coming into the majority of our houses isn’t pure.
In some regions of the world, the water is soft, clear, and enjoyable to drink; but in most parts, it is hard and turbid with altered taste. Luckily, there are tons of studies over both, making it easier for us to decide which one might be the best for us.
So without further delay, let’s jump right into the topic and learn more about the effects, identification, and solutions regarding the problems caused by hard water.
Water is said to be hard when it contains an excess amount of mineral contaminants, especially calcium and magnesium.
It is further divided into two types, temporary hard, which includes carbonates, and permanently hard, which contains sulfates and other non-carbon compounds.
Hard water is not just unpleasant to drink, but it also has numerous effects on human health and wealth.
Hard water may cause hypercalcemia and hypermagnesemia, both of which are associated with many diseases.
Hypercalcemia may lead to poor bone health, kidney stones, abnormal brain function, digestive problems, high blood pressure, and heart problems.
Hypermagnesemia may also cause diseases, ranging from nausea and headache to various neurological and heart problems.
Other diseases include:
Hard water dries our skin, leading to all sorts of skin problems, and also agitates the patients of eczema, a skin-related disease.
It makes a mineral film around your hair and prevents moisture from reaching in, making them dull, dry, and unhealthy. Also, some studies state that hard water is one of the common causes of hair fall.
Contaminants in hard water affect the action of detergents and decrease their efficiency in washing clothes. As a result, we require a relatively higher amount of detergent to wash clothes over time, ultimately spending extra money in the long run.
Dish-washing and House Cleaning
Just as the case with laundry, we spend more soaps and detergents for washing dishes, floors, or anything else and eventually more money. Moreover, the quality of cleanliness of dishes and floor also decrease significantly with each wash, making them look dull and greasy.
Life Span of Home appliances
Hard water decreases the life-span of home appliances over time. Contaminants present in hard water create limescale, which may clog pipes, damage home appliances, and ruin the quality of washed items.
Some of the related examples include:
As mentioned before, limescale can stick inside the washing machine and put extra toil on them while washing the clothes. Due to this excess load, life spans of these machines are reduced.
Boilers and coffee makers
Similar to washing machines and other appliances that may have to do something with hard water, limescale accumulation amplifies the workload, resulting in the decrementation of life-span with each use.
More Medical expenses
Hard water increases medical expenses by causing diseases. It also makes you buy costly lotions, oils, and shampoos for your dry skin and falling hairs.
Soft water, by definition, is the one that contains less amount of ions, particularly calcium and magnesium.
Its benefits include:
- Soft water looks clear, smells good, and tastes much better than hard water.
- It’s healthier than hard water.
- It saves money over time by decreasing the use of detergents, soaps, shampoos, etc.
- It also saves you from extra clinical visits and buying costly ointments and hair products.
- The life-span of your appliances is maintained.
- You enjoy cleaner dishes, floors, and clothes.
Its only downside can be that even though clear, it might still have impurities like arsenic, chlorine, etc.
Now that we know the difference between hard water and soft water, the next step is to find out which of these is coming through our taps.
Thankfully, there are various methods by which we can detect this, some of which are:
There are many water testing labs run by private companies and the government. All you need to do is collect water samples from your house and take it to those companies to get your results within several hours or days.
By this method, you may get as accurate results as possible.
Water Testing Kits and Stripes
This method follows a simple do-it-yourself type of process.
You buy a water testing kit, follow a few easy steps, and test your water whenever required.
Products like Swiss labs water testing kit test the water as accurately as any lab analysis, if not better, and save you a lot of time, lab visits, and effort compared to the other method.
You can check more of our reviews on some of the best latest water testing kits available.
Finally, after identifying the contaminants present inside the water, we can implement proper methods of eliminating them.
Some techniques for water softening include:
Just heat the water till bubbles show up and then keep it like this for further 1 minute.
However, keep in mind that boiling the water removes only temporary hardness, not the permanent one. We have already discussed the difference.
Water softeners work by eliminating calcium and magnesium from the hard water, even from the permanent type. They are far superior to boiling in terms of efficiency and can soften much more water at once.
For further information, you can check our detailed reviews on the top 5 water softeners and decide the one suitable for you!
In case there are other contaminants present alongside calcium and magnesium, you may need products other than just water softeners. In such cases, water filters like Reverse Osmosis Systems or Whole House Water Filter Systems might be your best choice.
They not only act as water softeners but also remove deadly contaminants such as arsenic, nitrates, microorganisms, etc.
In conclusion, if you want to enjoy better health, wealth, and fitness, you should get rid of the hardness in your water. Installing a water softener or a water filter system might be one of the smartest investments of your life, saving you and your appliances from a ton of extra workload!
If you still need help in deciding what will work best for you, take a look at some advantages and disadvantages of different water filters. Drink clean, live healthy!